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What the fuck happened?! - 65%

natrix, March 14th, 2004

Industrial style intro? What is this? This can't be Swordmaster!
Oh, but that's just it. It is Swordmaster. Not only did they lose the killer drummer from their EP, they replaced him with Nicky Terror of Sacramentum (they rule but...). To make matters worse, he wrote most of the damn music on here, and changed it to retro-thrash with black metal vocals! AAAAARRRRGH!!!
"The Master's Possession" is a good song. It's got a lot of good riffing going on, but then it gets Gothenfucked near the end a little bit, but not in a bad way. Next up, "Crush To Dust," which is the highlight of the album. It doesn't sound like Wraths of Time, but out of Swordmaster's newer stuff, this is a great song. Emil even does a small neo-classical style solo in the middle, which fit nicely.
Then...nothing. Nothing really catches my ear. There are a few good riffs here and there, but it just doesn't reach out and grab you. Nicky could be blamed for this, because of his role in the music, but nothing has much carachter. Whiplasher still has a pretty unique way of spitting out lyrics, lighting paced and with different phrasing (imagine Dani Filth, but much better and not that crazy squeeky voice), but it all goes by in a blur. Sure, "Claws of Death" starts out like "Conspiracy" on the EP, but then it goes back to revisited thrash.
I'm not too happy about this. What sucks is that this album isn't really that bad, but it just couldn't match the strength of the EP. When you make full albums and change style, that's one thing. But when you start off with an EP then change completely, that's a pretty abrupt change. Perhaps they wanted to cash in on the retro phase that was going on, but shit...